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TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for January

Revit Tips Graphic_crop

Door, Window, and Frame Types by David Moyer

Are you still making drafting views and using annotation lines to depict your door, window, and frame types? There are better ways. Ways that leverage the Building Information Model and assure that when a change happens these type views are automatically updated. Today I have two such options for you to consider: 1. Legends and 2. Elevation Views.

  1. Using a legend to create your door, window and frame types is very fast and easy, but It has some drawbacks; you cannot reference details from a legend and this method does not work for curtain walls. Thus if you want to refer to your window head detail from the Window Type View you can only add a text reference for this purpose, not leveraging the automatic update feature that Revit offers with regular views. For curtain walls we have no choice but to use method 2 detailed next. If you want to learn how to use a legend for your door, window, & frame types please refer to the following instructions:

  1. Elevations views can also provide a leg up over the drafting view method by displaying the actual doors in your model rather than annotation lines depicting such doors, which takes additional time to create, and do not update with changes to these elements in your model. This method also has some drawbacks, however, with some work-arounds these may be overcome without sacrificing the link to your information-rich model and the automatic updating features in Revit. The drawbacks are:

a) It takes a bit longer to create these views than the legend method, but they will allow you to call details from them. You can find the method in the same link above as it is discussed when the author describes how to deal with curtain walls.

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b) As a separate view is created for each type, a lot of additional elevation views are now in your project browser, but this is an easy problem to solve. All you need to do is create a new type of elevation view so they can be sorted separately. For example we already have exterior elevation and interior elevation view types, so now we just need add a “Type View.” Doing so will also help with the next challenge.

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c) All of these additional views will have view reference bubbles that pop up on every plan and some elevations and sections you have in the project.

Microsoft Word - 2016January.docx

Since you do not want these bubbles to show up on any views, simply change the bubble family for this “Type View” to one that is not your office standard, (like the out of the box square elevation tag) and then go to that family in one of your views, select it, then right click and select all instances of that bubble type in the project and hide all of them simultaneously with the hide in view feature on the modify palette. I understand you can also use Ideate Explorer to globally hide these as well.

Microsoft Word - 2016January.docx

d) Each Type View will auto-generate a view title, but what we want is to only have one view title for each group of Door, Window, or Frame Types. Again this is easily solved by only using the view title on the first of each type and simply setting additional type views to not have a title. You might also adjust the view title line on that first one to extend across the other views so they appear as if they were a single view on the sheet.

e) Lastly there is one drawback which this method has that the legend method does not, which we cannot provide an automated solution for yet: if you move the door or window to a new position in your model, you will have to adjust your view extents manually to get the door, window, or frame back into the view properly.  In this example the window has been shifted right in the model, but I have not yet adjusted the view crop to match this shift so the right side of the frame no longer appears on my sheet view.

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This method is especially useful if you plan to use Assa Abloy’s Openings studio add on for Revit as you will be replacing most, if not all your project doors during the course of your project with the more accurate families which this add-on generates. If you use the legend method and openings studio you will have to remember to go and switch out your families in the legends each time you change the doors as the families tend to be replaced by other families with different names, so the legend may still be showing the previous families.

Revit 2016 / Library Changes by Leslie Smith

Revit 2016

As of October 1st all new TLCD projects have been created with Revit 2016. There was nothing very dramatic for the Architecture world with this upgrade…but a couple of features to note:

  • Internal improvements have increased speed
  • PDF’s now hyperlink to referenced views (callouts, sections, details)
  • Revision Improvements
  • Project North/True North Improvements

Here are a few links to review the new features…if you also Google “Revit 2016 new features” you will find tons of useful information.

TLCD Library changes

Something the Design Technology Team has been working on for a while is the renaming of families in the TLCD library. Now that we are keynoting using the Masterformat numbering system, it made sense that family naming should follow MF numbering/naming. We already had the library set up by division but now the families are also named by MF numbers. The keynote parameter in each family has been filled-in with the MF # and the Keynote text file has been updated as needed. This should speed up the keynoting process…yippee. (FYI the assembly code was edited to match Uniformat Numbers & Omni-class data also added – aren’t we getting BIM-ish!)

Families are named as follows:
MF#-MF Category-Modifier-Description-Function
(Ex: 081313-Door-Mtl-HM-Sgl Flush-Int)

Of course not all families need to be this descriptive
(Ex: 101116-Markerboard)

Time Savers by Carl Servais

Here are a few quick tips that can save you a bit of time as you go about your Revit business:

Keyboard shortcuts – Back in the AutoCAD days, keyboard shortcuts were essential to being an efficient draftsperson, but with Revit, not so much (in my opinion).  However, there are a few that I find useful, and I think if I took the time, I would probably find even more that are useful.  Here’s what I use on a regular basis:

  • VV = Open the visibility and graphics dialog box.  You can also use VG.
  • SE = Snap to an endpoint.  I find that using a keyboard shortcut to snap can be a lot easier and faster than hitting the tab button over and over until I get what I want.
  • SI = Snap to intersection.
  • SN = Snap to nearest.
  • SM = Snap to midpoint.
  • SP = Snap to perpendicular.
  • ST = Snap to tangent.
  • SC = Snap to center (of a circle).
  • SQ = Snap to quadrant (of a circle).

For more keyboard shortcuts, here’s the list from Autodesk:

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even customize your keyboard shortcuts.  Here’s a link that shows you how:

Quick Access Tool Bar – Leslie pointed this out several weeks ago, but I think it’s useful enough to repeat.  If you find yourself doing some work that requires you to repeatedly use the same tool over and over, right click on the tool and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.”  That makes the tool accessible in the toolbar on the top bar of your Revit interface, no matter what tab you are in.  No more clicking to find the tab to access the tool.  It’s easy enough to add or delete tools from your Quick Access Toolbar that you can use it for tasks that are even slightly repetitive.  I find this particularly useful when I am keynoting.

Create Similar – There are many ways to copy elements in Revit, but one of my favorites is to use “Create Similar,” especially when I am copying hosted elements.  If you right-click on an element and select “Create Similar,” Revit will allow you to place an element of the same type as the selected element.  For instance, if I want to copy a light fixture from one ceiling to another, Revit will not allow me to use the copy command unless I am copying the light fixture (a hosted element) to the same ceiling (the same host).  If I use “Create Similar,” Revit activates the tool to place the family, the new element inherits the instance parameters from the original family, and you can now select a host on which to place the new-hosted element.  Even for non-hosted families, I find it easier to right-click and select “Create Similar” than to click the modify tab and select the copy tool.

Line Weight by David Moyer

Do you ever get frustrated that the line weights in Revit are just not working right in a particular view? Well, there is a tool for that, but I caution you to use it sparingly. On the Modify Ribbon in the view section you will find the line style command.

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This tool will let you choose a different line style for any line in a view (no other views will be affected). You can even make the line invisible (useful when two elements cannot be joined for some reason).

Not only will this tool allow you to change a line style, but you can also change the extents of a line using the grips that the tool provides when active. Here is an example using a concrete floor and a concrete wall (depicting a 6” curb).

Look for the small blue dots at line endpoints:

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By picking that blue dot I can stretch the length of the line to where I want it.

Microsoft Word - 2016January.docx



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You can get very specific and even change all the lines that hide space to a heavier line style, those that are plane turning lines to a medium style and those that are hidden to a hidden type (I changed the view from hidden line to wireframe to do this part)



Be warned though this is only for those one or two views that need to show something special that is outside of the standard Revit Object Styles. If an object is showing up incorrectly in most or all views you should consider adjusting its Object Style settings instead, on the manage ribbon.

Microsoft Word - 2016January.docx

Microsoft Word - 2016January.docx

This can be done just for your project, or your template could be changed to always display these differently if your whole office agrees on a standard graphic, which differs from the Revit defaults.

Stability by Carl Servais

Now that TLCD has moved to starting all new projects in Revit 2016, there will be some transition time for projects to get upgraded, if necessary.  Upgrading projects in Revit poses some risk due to the potential to corrupt files or cause errors.  We have three recommendations for keeping you and your Revit file happy while upgrading:

  1. Always, always, always create a new local file from the central file.  There is a risk for corruption when you open a local file and try to synchronize back to the central file.  Don’t do it.  Always use Open>Project, navigate to your central file in the project folders on the server and make sure Create New Local is checked.
  2. Maintain a clean model.  That means following your Digital Model Manager (DMM) protocol of weekly purging and addressing warnings.
  3. When you are ready to upgrade the model, open the project file with the Audit check box checked.  This takes a little longer, but it will help mitigate the risk for errors caused by the upgrade process.  You don’t need to audit your Revit project files every time you open them, but you should definitely audit when you upgrade.

That’s it!  Three recommendations that should keep you and your Revit file in your happy place.

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